A colposcopy is a simple procedure that helps detect abnormal changes to your cervix that may become cancer.
The highly trained providers at Marina OB/GYN perform in-office colposcopies at two locations in Marina Del Rey and Hawthorne, California. If you need a colposcopy, call your nearest clinic or book an appointment online today.
What is a colposcopy?
A colposcopy provides your OB/GYN with an up-close view of your cervix through a magnifying device called a colposcope. This procedure allows your Marina OB/GYN provider to find signs of disease that aren’t visible to the human eye alone.
You may need a colposcopy if the results from your most recent Pap test were abnormal. A Pap test screens for abnormal changes to your cells that may lead to cervical cancer and a colposcopy provides important information about these cells. Colposcopy also helps the team at Marina OB/GYN evaluate other problems, including:
They may also recommend a colposcopy to follow up on the results of a treatment, such as a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP).
What should I expect during a colposcopy procedure?
During a colposcopy, you lie down on the exam table just like you would for a Pap test. Your Marina OB/GYN provider inserts a speculum into your vagina and opens it to view your cervix.
They may swab your cervix with a vinegar-like solution, which helps to highlight areas of abnormal cells. Then, they position the colposcope in front of your vagina and examine your cervix. They don’t insert the colposcope into your body. If your Marina OB/GYN provider doesn’t see anything abnormal, they remove the speculum and that’s the end of your colposcopy.
But if they do find areas of tissue that may be precancerous, your provider may take a biopsy. A biopsy involves removing a small amount of tissue from your cervix. The team at Marina OB/GYN sends this tissue sample to a lab for testing. A colposcopy with a biopsy takes about 5-10 minutes.
A colposcopy without a biopsy is virtually painless. The only discomfort you may feel is the slight pressure of the speculum and a mild sting when your provider applies the vinegar-like solution.
A colposcopy with a biopsy may cause discomfort during and after the procedure. This may feel like a period cramp or a sharp pinch. Afterward, it’s normal to experience light spotting or a dark discharge for a few days. Even with a biopsy, the minor discomfort of a colposcopy pales in comparison to the pain of cervical cancer. To learn more about colposcopy, call Marina OB/GYN or book online today.